Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lets talk music. Ozzy Osbourne a member of the popular rock band Black Sabbath till he left the band in 1979 recently had a concert at Madison Square Garden and is scheduled for about 20 more concerts in major arenas and cities around the country just in the next few months. This rock artist is now 62 years old and is still showing up at concerts to get paid well when movie and television artists like Seinfeld are sitting on a fortune of royalty cash every time their entertainment footage is shown anywhere. It is not like that for musicians who since Napster, their musical songs are constantly being pirated instantly with no royalty fees trickling down to the musical artists bank account.

Well, things are getting a little better for creative artists in Europe. Google Inc’s You Tube recently signed an agreement with three French royalty-collection societies to pay artists when their works are shown on the video-sharing website. Under the deal, the societies will receive payments from You-Tube. They in turn will then redistribute the money to their members.
This agreement applies only to content viewed in France, Belgium and Luxembourg and retroactively covers content viewed on You Tube since 2007 and up to 2013. This is real progress in the sad state of royalties being paid to the artist. For about 10 years, there have not been any real policies on the matter since being able to download and receive instantly from concert to listening device was made so available by each and every new hand-held phone or gizmo.
The director of the Society of Authors and Composers in France, Pascal Rogard, said “It shows that there is a middle ground between protecting authors’ rights and making [content] available online. We are looking to collaborate with so many European artists as possible.”
In September, You Tube signed a deal with France’s biggest music royalty-collecting society to pay composers when their songs are viewed on the website. So, dust off your guitar, record something and go to France. You won’t have to be like Ozzy and rely so much on ticket sales and t-shirts and CD’s to pay for your mansion.

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